22 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. Spain the women are partially secluded, and perhaps wisely. We come to slavery. In Persia, at any rate, slaves are kept only as domestic" servants, and are particularly ^ell treated, being with reason trusted more than hired servants. Can we, with a recollection of Hawkins, who bought negroes in Africa to sell in America, throw stones at slavery among Moslems ? I think not. Freedom of thought and private judgment are gradually asserting themselves among Moslems, just as among Roman Catholics, however much the mu/las in the one case or the Pope in the other may deny these privileges* Moreover, until quite modern times it has been the general custom of man to persecute those from whom he differed on religious grounds, and the Moslems certainly have not treated Christians more harshly than the inquisi- tors did. Toleration is, in fact, a sentiment of recent growth. If the lives of great men are studied, imperfections are invariably revealed, and in many cases the greater the man the more conspicuous the faults. Personally I hold that Mohamed was, with all his human frailties, one of the greatest of mankind; that he was impelled by the highest motives to beat down idolatry and fill its place with the much higher conception of Islam, and that by so doing he rendered an immense service to the human race, a service to which I pay homage. The Koran.—The scriptures of Islam, known as the Koran,1 consist exclusively of the revelations which Mohamed claimed to receive through Gabriel as messages direct from God. These messages were received through- out the twenty-three years of his prophetical life, and were recited by Mohamed before his followers and committed both to memory and to writing. In the stage of culture which prevailed at that period in Arabia writing was a rare accomplishment, and the general belief is that the Prophet himself could neither read nor write ; memory was therefore much stronger thancamong civilized races, 1 Koran signifies "reading aloud," The syllable Al which ie occasionally prefixed is the Arabic for the definite article.